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Blog > Postcrossing in numbers: 2020 stats

We have a soft spot for statistics and we know many of you do as well, so here comes the yearly post with some juicy stats about Postcrossing. These were compiled by Paulo, with data from the whole 2020. Shall we have a look?

4,513,545 postcards received

That’s about half a million postcards fewer than the previous year, which is understandable considering the year we’ve just had. In fact, looking at the graph of postcards sent per month last year, you can clearly see the “pandemic dip” in April.

Postcards per month

Things have slowly gotten better since then though, and we saw a lot of new members on the site in the following months, as people settled into their new routines and started to explore new hobbies they could do from home.

28.27 days (average) and 17.67 days (median) travel time

No surprise that things were a bit slower last year! With thousands of flights cancelled and postal services scrambling to find alternative routes to send mail abroad, postcards spent more days on the road. Some even crossed continents in ships or trains!

These numbers are calculated for the whole year though… How do the numbers look like on a weekly basis?

Average Travel Days per Week

Things got a little delayed mid-2020, with postcards taking a few days longer to arrive on average, but the situation seems to have somewhat recovered in the meantime.

21,954,937,005 kms or (13,642,165,382 miles) of total traveled distance

Quite a bit less than last year, but to be expected with less postcards traveling, closed borders and cancelled flights. Many postal services have restricted their deliveries to nearby countries, where connections were easier to ensure and so, on average, postcards traveled to closer destinations last year. 26% of all postal routes remain closed at the moment, but things have slowly been improving with more and more connections being re-opened every week.

Here’s how far postcards traveled, per week:

Average Travel Distance per Week antipodes

The average travel distance was 4,864.23 kms (or 3,022.49 miles) per postcard — around 7.5% less distance than in 2019.

19,974 kms or (12,411 miles) was the longest distance traveled by a postcard

Postcard ES-622789 traveled between the town of Espasante in northern Spain and Christchurch in New Zealand — just a few kilometers short of its true antipodal point!

1,004,831 postcards sent from Germany

Postcrossers in Germany broke their 2019 record and sent even more postcards in 2020, reaching the 1 million postcards/year threshold! This enthusiasm also led them to add one more digit to their postcard IDs — postcard DE-10000000 was registered just yesterday. 🎉

Here are the countries in the top 20:

RankingCountry/TerritorySent
1🇩🇪 Germany1,004,831
2🇺🇸 U.S.A. 688,519
3🇷🇺 Russia391,653
4🇳🇱 Netherlands258,342
5🇫🇮 Finland 199,294
6🇹🇼 Taiwan137,332
7🇬🇧 United Kingdom118,436
8🇨🇳 China113,816
9🇯🇵 Japan107,508
10🇧🇾 Belarus100,352
11🇨🇿 Czechia95,558
12🇫🇷 France 87,882
13🇨🇦 Canada82,095
14🇵🇱 Poland64,027
15🇧🇪 Belgium54,927
16🇦🇹 Austria46,998
17🇨🇭 Switzerland 46,209
18🇱🇹 Lithuania42,652
19🇦🇺 Australia38,834
20🇭🇰 Hong Kong34,279

Same countries as last year in that list, with some shuffling around. Germany, USA, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK managed to increase their total of sent postcards, but the remaining countries all sent less cards throughout last year.

DJHK sent the most postcards (registered in 2020)

Jürgen (aka DJHK) sent 2485, 103 more than the second most active postcrosser reinholdo (2382). Willi (2360), Antje321 (2322) and Sidolix (2310) complete the top 5.

Åland Islands sent the most postcards per capita

We thought it would be cool to do a different kind of ranking with 2020's data, to give less populous countries and territories a chance to be featured. Here are postcards sent per 1000 inhabitants, for countries with more than 10 members:

Ranking Country/Territory Postcards per capita
1 🇦🇽 Åland Islands 80.38
2 🇫🇮 Finland 37.09
3 🇱🇹 Lithuania 15.85
4 🇳🇱 Netherlands 15.47
5 🇬🇬Guernsey 13.58
6 🇩🇪 Germany 12.57
7 🇧🇾 Belarus 11.09
8 🇱🇺 Luxembourg 10.92
9 🇨🇿 Czechia 9.29
10 🇱🇻 Latvia 7.41
11 🇪🇪 Estonia 6.97
12 🇮🇲 Isle of Man 6.74
13 🇹🇼 Taiwan 6.22
14 🇸🇮 Slovenia 5.98
15 🇨🇭 Switzerland 5.61
16 🇦🇹 Austria 5.51
17 🇲🇹 Malta 5.28
18 🇧🇪 Belgium 4.99
19 🇭🇰 Hong Kong 4.79
20 🇸🇰 Slovakia 4.05

It’s interesting to see smaller countries and islands thrown into the mix! Here’s a previous similar ranking we did some years ago.

October 1, 2020 was the day in which more postcards were sent

No surprises there — World Postcard Day was a huge hit, with a little more than 40,000 postcards received which were sent on that day. The following 3 best days of the year all happened in February, with around 16,000 postcards being sent.

And that’s it for last year’s statistics! I know you’re all eager to read about the census results as well, but it’ll still take us some time to parse those 30,000 or so replies… 😅 We’ll post about it here on the blog once we have some insights to share!

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57 comments so far

siebe1, Belgium
I love to discover interesting stats like this.😍
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Talal90Ahmed, Iraq
waooooooooo
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-Katie, United Kingdom
Wow, that's so cool, thank you for compiling this.
That's a lot of postcards! :D
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SunflowerLover, United States of America
Hurray! I love this hobby so much! I backed off on sending more but will start to amp it up next week!
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carruzzo, Russia
very interesting information) thank you!
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MerlinM, Germany
Thank you for your effort to give us these interesting stats. This why I love postcrossing even more. Thanks again!!!!
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Linderoos, Belgium
Thank you so much! Really enjoyed this wrap up a lot.
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Chirp2lou, Canada
I've clicked all the links and checked out those super Postcrossers, studied the country list and graphs. I love it all! Thank you.
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reiselustig, Germany
Thanks for the great list - it's always fun to read the stats! Most postcards per Capita was a very good idea!
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alaskanabbey, United States of America
Oh statistics are so beautiful!! Thanks for sharing!!!
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Hansvanderveeke, Netherlands
Thanks for these interesting Numbers. I am amazed by the people that send more than 2000 postcards last year. What an investment in time and money! I also understand now why I get so many cards from Germany ;-)
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rainbowtrisha, United Kingdom
Thank you for doing this, so cool to see the stats
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chloeolivia, United States of America
It would be fun to see the shortest distance a postcard traveled as well! Thanks for sharing all these statistics :)
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potatogirl_by, Belarus
That's incredible! ❤️
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suxies, Spain
In Spain, this year's rates rose a lot, especially for North America and Oceania 😓
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Luziaceleste, Brazil
Nice to see the activity in such special year. Postcrossers fighting against all challenges to send and receive cards, and they were not few!
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SuziH, Canada
l enjoyed reading the stats and appreciate those who compiled them.
I know with this coronavirus I sent more postcards this year.
One of my favourite "going out" activities was a trip to my mailbox.
The people at my post office are enthusiastic about the postcards I send and receive. And are always happy to tell me of newly issued postage stamps as I spend a fortune on postage!
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AutismMom, United States of America
So interesting to see postcards per capita! Germany is still quite highly ranked while other countries typically ranked high for numbers sent don't even crack this list at all (ie. USA, Russia, China). Kudos to these members in smaller countries! :)
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rococoabean, Australia
Some really fascinating figures here, from what was a very unusual year - thank you! You've shown that postcards took longer to arrive (I think we've all noticed that!), and I was wondering what the rate of expired cards was in 2020, compared to an average year? I feel as though more of my cards than usual just didn't arrive....
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mothwriter, United States of America
SO much fun - thank you!!!! Thank you for these insights, an overview I could not imagine =))
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alexisl, Canada
A warm welcome to all the new postcrossing members that joined last year!
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IIyx, Russia
Like previos member said, it will be interesting to see the shortest distance and time postcard traveled.
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WistahSistah, United States of America
I loved this information! Thanks! I think it's cool that I received a postcard from Åland Islands in 2020. I, too, am interested in learning the number of expired cards in 2020 since I experienced more expired cards in 2020 than normal, and I have a long list of cards that still haven't arrived after more than 30 days in transit.
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memo_baghdad, Iraq
Really fascinating figures and information, thanks a bunch for sharing.
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pai_crossing, India
This is amazing 🤩
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Demmi, Romania
So cool to see these stats! Good job!
Keep up the good work!
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Escilas, Mexico
Love stats! Thank you for compiling all this information and sharing it with us. Looking forward to the census information, if possible! :D
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mounten, Italy
Cool statistic,amazing thank you so much!
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sienemien, Belgium
I love to see that there are so many people who like to write postcrossing cards. Thanks to share those statistics with us.
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tyomzavilenski, Belarus
Интересно)
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captkev, United Kingdom
Great stuff, but any chance of other stats such as age/sex of postcrossers?
I'm sure more women than men use it by a large margin!
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ned44440, Ireland
Love all the stats 📈📉📊 as usual 😃👌
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Singalarius, Germany
Yes - it was a strange year. The stats are telling us this...
In 2020 I have sent less postcards than in 2019. I missed my hunting in shops for rare cards...but I am glad to send at least one card a day...
Most important: my dear Postcrossers, all of you, stay happy and healthy and let us bring peace, harmony and tolerance to our planet!
Also a big THANK YOU to Paulo and Ana (meiadeleite) for their work!
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Sunshein, United States of America
While I enjoy sending and receiving postcards, my husband mainly focuses on the stats. I loved seeing the smaller countries in a top 20 list!
I'm still upset about many of my postcards having gone lost during the shut-down while in Bahrain, though a single postcard I mailed in June from Bahrain finally arrived. There's hope the remaining cards might make it. Did anyone else have more problems with expired cards last year than normally?
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suegathman, United States of America
I'm always fascinated by these stats - both the wide-angle view for the entire site like this, and my own personal stats which get emailed monthly. I've registered a DE-999xxxx or two recently, and figured we must be close to DE-10000xxx soon - what a great card that is! :)
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ferro, Belgium
As a mathematician I always like to see the statistics. I also do mib in an excel file!
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Flippie, Canada
Thank you for the info, very interesting!
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JasonDavid, Canada
Thanks for the stats! I'd be really interesting to see a blog post - apologies if this has been done already - which provides some insights into why there are such huge differences in cards sent (both overall and per capita) between Netherlands and Belgium, and between Finland and the other Scandinavian countries. Does postage cost play a role, for example?
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LC-Canada, Canada
Always fascinating to learn more about the Postcrossing community! Thanks for this work!

I would really love to know the average # of postcards sent & received in a day.

@captkev - there are some stats here on gender pronoun use in the link below that clearly show more women participate than men in Postcrossing - I've never seen a breakdown by age though.

https://www.postcrossing.com/stats/users
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Regndroppar, Finland
@JasonDavid, the postage and the amount of postcrossers explain the difference between the Scandinavian countries. Finland used to be the postcrossing country number #1 ~10 years ago and since then our postage has risen almost x2,5. Finland has around 17,700 postcrossers, Sweden ~ 1,700, Norway ~ 1,300, Denmark ~600 and Iceland ~200. The postage abroad in Finland is at the moment the cheapest of all the Scandinavian countries, "only" 1.75/1.85 €. For example the postage abroad in Denmark costs ~4 €, in Sweden ~2.4 €, in Norway ~3.30 € and in Iceland 1.80€-2.20 € (depends on the class and destination).
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JasonDavid, Canada
Thanks for the interesting insight, @regndroppar!

I think the growth in the number of postcrossers in Canada has really slowed since a major postage increase took effect several years ago. It led me to redirect most of my outgoing cards to Canadian and US swaps through tags and round robins on the forum.
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amullari, Estonia
Very many thanks for that great overview!
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Sidolix, Germany
THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH Paulo and meiadeleite for all the stats you made for and share with us !
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NellyMuc, Germany
Thank you for this favorite Hobby since 12 years. I love it.
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kkswami, India
Interesting Facts.. make us happy that we are growing !!
For any organisation statics are so important to know the growth, plan for future . Thank you for sharing with us !
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ybur, Czech Republic
WOW! My second homeland Slovakia is finally in the statistic! Congratulations to all diligent Slovak postcrossers.

Yes, last year was special.
And when it comes to postage - better not to talk. When I started postcrossing in 2008, stamps to Europe were for 17 and overseas for 18 CZK (approx. 0.65 / 0.69 EUR). Today it is 39 and 45 CZK (1.50 / 1.73 EUR)
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Knerq, United States of America
Excellent recap! Though there may have been fewer postcards sent, it seems like Postcrossing is vibrant and active. Thank you for all you do.
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tomsaaristo, United States of America
I love stuff like this! Funny enough I started sending postcards again in 2020 because I thought it would be a good time to connect with the global community.
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durhamjaide, United Kingdom
Can’t wait to see the results of the census.
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Alexjcbcn, Spain
Love the stadistics! What happens with German people??? why are the most postcrossers by far? some explanation of it?
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mihneaR, Romania
Hello from Romania! I really love such stats! :)
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sedgewick, United States of America
Those stats are incredible ~ thank you so much for sharing them! Just one of the MANY reasons I love postcrossing.
Have a wonderful year, Paulo and Ana, and other postcrossing team members!~
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rockycip, United States of America
Wow! Thank you all for providing these statistics.
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SylviaM, United States of America
It's always fun to read the yearly statistics. Thank you, Paulo and Ana!
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itsbf, United States of America
Love the stats! Keep them coming!
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noctuvigilus, Germany
Thanks for the stats. I also noted the decreasing numbers over the last years but I guess it has to do with the postage. It was raised a lot in Germany too.
@Alexjcbcn Well, I don't know why there are so many German Postcrossers. I guess sending mail is just a beautiful tradition here. Also we are a lot of people. 😄
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tpuchalski, United States of America
I didn't realize how much international postage postage is for so many places - it costs me $1.20 US (approximately 1€) and about 1/3 of that within the USA. Now I appreciate all the wonderful postcards I've received even more!
And, to the Postcrossing staff - you are amazing! Thank you so much for all your hard work!
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